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Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Dec;18(10):1095-105. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

IL6 genotypes and colon and rectal cancer.

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School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.


Inflammation appears to play a key role in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study we examine factors involved in the regulation of inflammation and risk of CRC. Data from a multi-center case-control study of colon (N = 1579 cases and N = 1977 controls) and rectal (N = 794 cases and N = 1005 controls) cancer were used to evaluate the association between the rs1800795 and rs1800796 IL6 polymorphisms and CRC. We evaluated the joint effects of IL6 single nucleotide polymorphisms and regular use of aspirin/NSAIDs and vitamin D receptor (VDR) genotype. Having a C allele of the rs1800796 IL6 polymorphisms and the GG genotype of the rs1800795 IL6 polymorphisms was associated with a statistically significantly reduced the risk of colon (OR 0.76 95% CI 0.57, 1.00), but not rectal (OR 1.49 95% CI 1.02,2.16) cancer. Both IL6 polymorphisms were associated with significant interaction with current use of aspirin/NSAIDs to alter risk of colon cancer: individuals with a C allele in either polymorphism who were current users of aspirin/NSAIDs had the lowest colon cancer risk. CRC risk also was associated with an interaction between VDR and IL6 genotypes that was modified by current use of aspirin/NSAIDs. This study provides further support for inflammation-related factors in the etiology of CRC. Other studies are needed to explore other genes in this and other inflammation-related pathways.

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